The eCTAC – or online Counter-Terrorism Academic Curriculum – is an innovative online curriculum designed for investigators, prosecutors and examining judges.
Designed and developed by the Academic Unit, the eCTAC is building crucial practitioner capacity for proactive investigations and prosecutions of terrorism cases and expanding practitioner knowledge on gathering evidence to disrupt terrorist activity. Other topics covered by the eCTAC include the lawful and proportionate use of special investigative techniques, efficient inter-agency coordination and effective international cooperation; all of which are essential in rule of law-compliant terrorism investigations and prosecutions.
eCTAC Courses are tailored to the needs and contexts of the specific cohort – whether by language, region or legal system(s). Each course is limited to a maximum of 20 participating practitioners so as to allow for an exceptional strengthening of the knowledge and skills of the practitioners, mutual support and networking.
Paying it Forward: Strengthening Coordination Between Stakeholders
Mr. Lafama Prosper Thiombiano serves as the Prosecutor of Faso at the Koudougou Prosecutor’s Office, located in Burkina Faso’s Boulkiemdé Province, around 75km west of the country’s capital, Ouagadougou. He serves as the key point of contact for all terrorism-related cases in his jurisdiction with the Judicial Unit specialising in the fight against terrorism, based in Ouagadougou, where he previously served. He completed the first francophone eCTAC course (November – December 2020), and immediately put into action what he had learned in both his daily practice and in the framework of police-justice coordination.
Following the eCTAC, he sent a criminal guidance note to the judicial police in his jurisdiction to establish a consultation framework. A key takeaway from the eCTAC course, the consultation framework is an important step in improving coordination between investigators and the Public Prosecution Office. He also turned what he had learned on evidence-gathering and the importance of procedural safeguards in compliance with human rights into a number of successful investigations under his authority.
Building Foundational Skills
Moving from confession-led to intelligence-led investigations
Confessions and statements, especially those gained through torture, are unreliable. The eCTAC builds the capacity of practitioners to move from confession-led investigations to actively gathering the best evidence for successful prosecutions. The eCTAC addresses the collection of telecommunication evidence, electronic evidence and financial evidence, while emphasising the importance of protecting the rights of a suspect, which is essential for a successful counter-terrorist prosecution.